Follow by Email

Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Nana's Recipe for Chewy Crisps

No, I didn't mix up the posts for my blogs.  Although this might seem to have been intended for  Kitchen Keepers, my cooking and recipe blog, it is posted here intentionally.  Today, just like most other people, I print out recipes from websites, or save them to my documents file for use at a later date.  I do still prop up a cookbook (I have many more than I have shelves to store them) or lay a printed recipe nearby when I am cooking.  I like being able to use my mini Ipad to bring up a recipe I know I have already posted.  That is very convenient, and portable!  But my most cherished recipe collection is handwritten, like the one above.  Chewy Crisps were peanut butter treats my mother, Opal Terrell Teal, made in our kitchen on Sunset Street in Jacksonville, Texas when I was growing up. I could enter it in my computer and print it out (and may very well do that for other reasons) but I thrill at being able to hold it in my hand, trace Mother's lovely, even, measured handwriting, and cook from her "book."  This recipe has a checkered ribbon threaded at the top since I use it, along with a few others, every year on a small kitchen Christmas tree where it hangs along with Mother's cookie cutters, the first ones I ever used.  I cherish other recipes written down by my Grandmother, or my mother's best friend Gertrude, our neighbor Mrs. Adams, even one from Mrs. Fay Martin who was mother's friend when they lived in New Orleans over 70 years ago. Recipes on the back of my 4th grade spelling test, an  envelop, a paper napkin.   I have some in my own handwriting, a collection of family recipes made as a third grade art project, complete with a fabric cover edged in blanket stitiches.

Next time you are asked for a recipe, why not write it down with your own pen?  Someday, there may be someone else who collects more than cookbooks and cooks with a heart beyond the cooking channels on TV!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Trees and Trims

Our Christmas house has more than one tree to trim.  We have artificial trees these days, but the decorations that dress them have been on many trees in many different places.  After the spare snowflake and string ball trimmed tree of our 1964 Christmas, Joe and I added an ornament or two or three every year.  So that our sons would have their own Christmas ornaments when they left to begin their own traditions and families, we let them choose an ornament for their own each year which was stored in a box.  I love visiting their homes and seeing a few of those childhood choices on their trees this time of year.  This tree is in my kitchen.  It celebrates family and the cooking we enjoy together, and is trimmed with cookie cutters I used when I was a little girl, cookie recipes handwritten  by grandmothers and friends, and little gingerbread boys and girls. The gingerbread family is over 35 years old, so of course is not real gingerbread.  When my sons were all in the same elementary school, one year we made baker's clay ornaments colored with instant coffee for all their teachers plus some for our own tree.  They come back out to dance on our tree and remind us of many happy Christmas times together in our kitchen.


My granddaughters are a delight all year 'round, but Christmas brings more fun than ever.  We enjoy making this tea tray with a tiny tree, teacups and teapots. We add a mix of pretty tea bags and Joe's mother's small spoon collection plus the book A Cup of Christmas Tea.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Roses for Your Birthday

Another family birthday comes into view while we are still basking in the glow of last week's celebration for Maddie.  One hundred twenty-five years ago on March 15, 1887, a baby girl given the name Mary Clyde Curley was born to a 34 year old  French immigrant whose husband died during the pregnancy.  This baby was the youngest of 9 living children born to Ernestine, who had buried a child in addition to two husbands, both of whom died before seeing their last child. 

Clyde, as the baby was called, was born into adversity and affliction of circumstance.  But she was also born into a close family circle as her mother moved back home to relatives.  I don't know much about her childhood, but I do know she loved her siblings dearly and spoke of them often.  In 1904 she married Hezekiah Peyton Terrell and gave birth to 3 sons and a daughter.  Opal, her daughter, was my mother.  I became Clyde and Ky's first grandchild.

Clyde Terrell mourned the death of her oldest son, Vinnon, due to a hunting accident on Christmas Day in 1922.  She never drove a car, never lived in a house with indoor plumbing until she was nearly 80.  She raised her family on a farm in Smith County, Texas, drew water from a well, washed the family laundry in an iron wash pot set over a fire in the yard, and hung the clothes on a line outside to dry after which she ironed them with a flatiron kept hot on the wood stove.  She planted morning glories and old maids,  kept a garden for vegetables,  milked a cow, hung slaughtered meat in a smokehouse, and kept chickens for eggs as well as wringing their necks for Sunday dinner for the preacher.  She put up berries and peaches along with peas and green beans in mason jars with sealed lids and baked pies and tea cakes. She lived by "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!"  Therefore, she sewed her own clothing, replaced buttons, turned collars and cuffs on Papa's shirts, and made patchwork quilts with what was left.  She was an adept seamstress, adding embellishments of crochet, tatting, hemstitching, and cutwork to aprons,  pillowcases and tea towels.

I remember being folded into her soft, sweet embrace and never felt more loved.  I remember drinking cold well water from a dipper, picking berries with her, and stubbing my toe on the red dirt road when we walked to the mailbox.  I remember that she welcomed folks to her door and to her table, the same one that my own family gathered around for lunch after church today.  However, she always put a clean white tablecloth on top, and when anything was blooming, a jar of flowers on the table. Whether we were eating fried chicken or cornbread, biscuits or berry cobbler, the food was always delicious and warm and her welcome even moreso.

But most of all I remember her deep faith in and love of God.  She knew God loved her and trusted him unfalteringly. She was a woman of prayer.  She didn't just go to church, it was a part of her and she was a part of the people and their worship and service.  Her pastor and his wife were her best friends.  I loved going to church with her because she loved it so much.  She had tragedies.  She did not have what most would call an easy life.  But she lived in gratitude and praise for the blessings she had. 

Grandma died one month before her 90th birthday in 1977.  I still miss her. This morning just as dawn was arriving, I went out into our garden and picked these yellow roses in her honor.  She had an old  rose bush near the front window of their house at the top of the red dirt road. She often brought bouquets of the blooms in for her table.  They were golden yellow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Licking the Spoon




Licking the Spoon


Sliced red apples sweet and crisp

to dip in hot caramel

Pumpkin Bread and Gingerbread

Candy Cane Cookies, Thumbprints, red jam in the middle

Toffee with almonds spread quickly to cool

German Butter Balls rolled in powdered sugar

Peppermint Bark

Fudge cooked in an iron skillet, the old fashioned way

poured onto a buttered platter

Cranberry Crisp

Turkish Delight

Pecan pralines tasting of brown sugar

Haystacks – butterscotch and chow mein noodles!

Sweetest of all -

Licking the Spoon.



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stirring Moments

Among all the wonderful together times at Christmas, some of my most favorite are those I spend in the kitchen with my family.  In this picture, Skye was only four years old.  She just celebrated her 9th  birthday.  We enjoy cooking together.  I am happy to make cookies, candy, and a gingerbread house just like I did when her Daddy and my other sons were growing up.  I love remembering happy times past, and love even more making new memories.  This afternoon, no one is in the kitchen with me, but as I turn up Andrea Bocelli's Christmas CD, turn on the oven, and pull out the baking pans, my heart is singing.  And remembering.
                                                 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Which Witch?


When two of my grandchildren came to my house on Halloween dressed as witches, we made witch cookies with green faces, beady eyes, hooked noses and wild hair. Credits go to chocolate chips, cashew nuts and chow mein noodles for the bewitching features.